It is great to know our efforts are working! A recent release by the Youth Tobacco Survey in Wisconsin declared that high school smoking went from 17.7% to 13.1%. In 2000, these numbers were at a whopping 32.9%!! Using a comprehensive tobacco control program, we have been able to reduce tobacco use and protect the public from secondhand smoke. Comprehensive programs include different approaches to tobacco control, not just one or few.
Having coalitions like re:TH!NK meet with legislators regarding policy change- such as raising cigarette taxes, FACT (Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco) groups around the state encouraging youth never to begin smoking, and WI Wins programs restricting access of tobacco products to minors all make a huge difference in seeing the decrease in youth and teen smoking. Middle school students rates have also went down-from 3.9% in 2010 to 2.5% in 2012. This can make a world of difference in our future as most smokers (90%) start before the age of 18.
We definitely are on the verge of reducing tobacco's burden on our state, resulting in lower health care costs and healthier people who will not suffer from tobacco-related illnesses!